Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 11 results
Media
Photo of artist conk, woody bracket fungus on tree shown from side
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ganoderma applanatum
Description
The artist conk is a woody, semicircular, brownish bracket with a white underside that bruises dark gray to black. It grows on dead wood or in wounds of living deciduous trees.
Media
Photo of Berkeley's polypore, fresh, young specimen.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Bondarzewia berkeleyi
Description
Berkeley’s polypore grows in rosettes or clusters of fleshy, cream-colored caps, with whitish pores that descend the stalk. Look for them on the ground near the bases of trees.
Media
Photo of black-staining polypore, a mushroom with tan, wavy, fan-shaped caps
Species Types
Scientific Name
Meripilus sumstinei (formerly M. giganteus)
Description
The black-staining polypore grows in large, circular clusters of many fleshy, grayish yellow, fan-shaped caps, which bruise black when cut or touched. It grows on the ground around deciduous trees, especially oaks.
Media
Photo of hen of the woods, large round mass of grayish mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Grifola frondosa
Description
Looking like a ruffled chicken, the edible hen of the woods mushroom grows like large circular bouquet of spoon-shaped caps, each grayish brown on top and white beneath, emerging from a branching, whitish base. It grows on the ground at the base of oak trees.
Media
a row of little brown, umbrella-shaped mushrooms along a decaying log
Species Types
Scientific Name
Various species of confusingly similar mushrooms
Description
Like the LGBs (“little gray birds”) of the birdwatchers, this is a catchall category. It includes all the small to medium-sized, hard-to-identify brownish mushroom with spores of all colors. There are many hundreds of species that fit this description!
Media
Photo of multicolor gill polypore, a colorfully zoned bracket fungus on a log
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lenzites betulina
Description
Multicolor gill polypore is a bracket fungus with a semicircular, tough, hairy, multicolored, zoned cap; beneath, it's white, with leathery, gill-like tubes. It grows on dead deciduous wood.
Media
Photo of an old man of the woods, a grayish, pored mushroom with a shaggy cap
Species Types
Scientific Name
Strobilomyces floccopus
Description
The old man of the woods has a grayish black, shaggy cap with grayish pores and a grayish black, shaggy stalk. It usually grows singly, on the ground in mixed hardwood forests.
Media
Photo of a thin-maze flat polypore, a bracket fungus, showing concentric rings
Species Types
Scientific Name
Daedaleopsis confragosa (Daedalea confragosa)
Description
The thin-maze flat polypore is a grayish brown bracket fungus with a zoned top and a furrowed, mazelike underside. It grows singly or in small, layered clusters on dead wood or in wounds of living trees.
Media
Photo of big cluster of turkey tails, bracket fungus with concentric color rings
Species Types
Scientific Name
Trametes versicolor
Description
Turkey tail grows in clusters of leathery, thin brackets with multicolored zones above and whitish yellow pores below. Look for it on stumps and logs of deciduous trees.
Media
Photo of several violet toothed polypores, violet-gray bracket fungi
Species Types
Scientific Name
Trichaptum biforme
Description
The violet toothed polypore is a bracket fungus with tough, hairy caps with violet margins and zones of white, brown, and black; beneath, the whitish violet pores break into teeth. It grows on stumps and logs of deciduous wood.
See Also
Media
Photo of several pinesap plants showing multiple flowers per stalk.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Monotropa hypopitys
Description
Pinesap is a plant that puts the "wild" in wildflower! It lacks chlorophyll, so its roots connect to fungi underground and absorb nutrients from the fungi.
Media
Picture of a patch of filamentous green algae floating in a stream.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cladophora, Pithophora, and Spirogyra spp., and others
Description
Filamentous green algae forms green, cottony masses that are free-floating or attached to rocks, debris, or other plants.
Media
Photo of several Indian pipe plants with flowers, rising out of leaf litter.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Monotropa uniflora
Description
Indian pipe lacks chlorophyll, so it is white, not green. Below ground, its roots join with fungi that connect to tree roots. This plant, then, takes nourishment indirectly from the trees.

About Mushrooms in Missouri

Mushrooms are a lot like plants, but they lack chlorophyll and have to take nutrients from other materials. Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. They are in a different kingdom — the fungi. Fungi include the familiar mushroom-forming species, plus the yeasts, molds, smuts, and rusts.

Always be cautious when eating edible mushrooms. Be absolutely sure of the ID, and only eat a small amount the first time you try it to avoid a reaction..